The Way to BE

3 Ways to Manage Whooping Cough in Children

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a serious bacterial infection.

It is estimated that each year whooping cough claims the lives of nearly 300,000 people.(1) Children are most likely to be seriously affected by pertussis, and of the children that are affected, infants under one year old are most likely to die from infection.

In 2010, ten infants in California died of whooping cough, reportedly due to misdiagnosis.

According to reports, whooping cough is the only disease in the United States that is both preventable by vaccine and associated with increasing deaths each year.

Many schools are recommending healthy children take antibiotics if there is an outbreak of whooping cough in their school. Prophylactic antibiotic treatment, which is a course of antibiotic therapy when there is no infection, can damage the immune system. This is especially true in infants, who are still developing a strong inner ecosystem.

The United States began vaccinations for whooping cough back in the 1940s. With many other infectious diseases, vaccinations proved effective at drastically reducing the risk of infection. While this has been the case with pertussis, the United States has seen a recent rise in incidence.

The history of the whooping cough vaccine is enough to alarm informed parents.

Immunization against whooping cough is contained in the DPT vaccine, which also delivers immunization against diphtheria and tetanus. The DPT vaccine is an epicenter of much of the controversy that currently surrounds vaccinations.

  • In the 1970s, parents began reporting dramatic mood and cognitive changes in their children after receiving the DPT vaccine.
  • Normal side effects of the vaccination are fever and soreness at the injection site.
  • According to parents, side effects in some children have been high fever, seizures, and brain damage.
  • In 1982, a documentary called “DPT: Vaccine Roulette” made its way to mainstream television.  Many parents reported that seeing this documentary was the first time they had received an explanation for the changes that they witnessed in their child after immunization.
  • After enough lawsuits, negative press, and vaccine manufacturers going out of business, in 1986, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA). The NCVIA is a system meant to compensate those who are adversely affected by vaccines.
Even though a new DPT vaccine was developed, called DTaP, many parents are still cautious to follow their doctor’s advice and get their child vaccinated.
Recognizing the 3 stages of whooping cough can prevent a serious infection from developing in your child. You can also boost their immune system to fight infection with a low sugar diet and plenty of fermented vegetables.

The DPT/DTaP vaccine does not guarantee total protection against whooping cough.

Doctors and pediatricians recommend that parents vaccinate their child and give antibiotics to those who are high-risk, such as infants.

In spite of both of these preventative measures, children who have received vaccinations and antibiotic therapy are still showing up with whooping cough. While this sort of situation is rare, it does mean that vaccination and antibiotic treatment does not guarantee the prevention of whooping cough.

For some parents, the controversy surrounding vaccinations and antibiotic therapy can seem almost impossible to sort through. Depending on the health of the child, vaccination may seem a bit like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage a possible whooping cough infection:

1. Diagnosis. This is the job of your doctor. Doctors, in spite of their training, can make mistakes.

This is why it is important for every parent to know the 3 stages of whooping cough:

  1. Stage 1 lasts for up to two weeks. There is generally low-grade fever, runny nose, sneezing, and mild cough.
  2. Stage 2 can range anywhere from one to six weeks. During this stage, there are severe bouts of coughing, followed by a “whooping” sound. During this stage, there may be need for hospitalization.
  3. Stage 3 is the recovery stage and can last for up to three weeks. This is when coughing episodes subside and eventually disappear.

2. Diet. A diet that is low in sugar and high in immune-boosting foods like fermented vegetables will naturally protect your child from any infection, including whooping cough. A low-sugar diet also means limiting refined grains and complex carbohydrates. Remember that most of all, your child follows your lead.

If you have an infant, diet applies here as well: infants do best with breast milk, period. Adding formula to an infant’s diet for extra nutrition only creates more stress for a still-developing system.

Try giving your infant or your child a little juice from a batch of fermented vegetables or a teaspoon of InnergyBiotic. This can safely and gently inoculate the gut with friendly and immune-boosting bacteria.

3. Chinese Medicine. Administering Chinese herbs is not something that you can take into your own hands.  A formula can be created by a licensed acupuncturist/Oriental Medicine Doctor.

Chinese formulas for pertussis are structured according to the child’s constitution, symptoms, and stage of illness. If you are able to find a practitioner that you trust, Chinese herbal therapy can be extraordinarily effective in treating infectious disease.

In 2003, the World Health Organization formally recognized the therapeutic benefits of acupuncture on whooping cough symptoms.


What to Remember Most About This Article:

Whooping cough, otherwise known as pertussis, is a serious bacterial infection that poses a special risk to children under one year old. However, the DPT vaccine used to treat whooping cough has caused a number of severe side effects in children, including high fever and even brain damage. For this reason, many parents are still reluctant to use the new DTaP vaccine to safeguard their child against whooping cough.

You can protect your child's health by understanding the 3 stages of whooping cough, boosting their immunity with a diet low in sugar and rich in fermented foods, and considering Chinese medicine performed by a licensed Oriental Medicine Doctor as an alternative treatment.

Product Recommendations:

  • Veggie Culture Starter

    Veggie Culture Starter

    Resist Infections, Enhance Digestion

    • Ideal for appetite and weight control
    • Ideal for pregnant women
    • Ideal for children with Autism and ADD
    • Can be enjoyed daily
    • Easy to make at home


  1. Silvana Bettiol , et al. Symptomatic Treatment of The Cough in Whooping Cough. Cochrane Database System Review. 2010: 1; CD003257.


Want more articles like this?

Sign up to receive weekly articles. You'll also receive a 15% off coupon, weekly articles, and tips from Donna and her team.

I'm most interested in:
  • Chad Cooke

    Larry, you are so wrong.... CHS reports here on new research from the US Federal Drug Administration which the researchers claim confirms their hypothesis that whooping cough vaccine does not provide herd immunity and that the disease continues to be easily transmitted and flourishes. CHS has previously reported that whooping cough [pertussis] vaccine does not work:

    read more here:

  • Liberty

    Amanda - love your post - thank you that is very helpful to me as I think my middle child (age 7) is just entering state 2 and I have 2 other children as well. I will remove all sugar, boost immune systems, quarantine, rest, and depend on God an their bodies for health and healing. I also have ordered a natural remedy from my Naturalpath that is coming in the next day or two that I will get him on. This is overall a really good and helpful article as well. Thanks much!

  • Rebecca

    I postponed vaccines for my daughter till she was 18 months and by the point, my doctor thought it would be ok to leave out the pertussis portion. As soon as she was vaccinated, her immune system became challenged. She go sick frequently and her colds turned rapidly to asthma, then bronchitis and then would turn into pneumonia, time and again.

    As the was a pre-teen and babysitting, one of her two charges exposed her to whooping cough. My daughter and then I came down with whooping cough as well, but the other sibling did not show any symptoms. Fortunately, we have a homeopathic friend. She sent us homeopathic pertussis and the my child and the one sick sibling were completely symptom free. The parents involved believed that the homeopathic dose given to the symptom free sibling was perhaps why she never got better.

    My own experience was not so fortunate. My symptoms were not lessened by either the pertussis remedy or any others we tried. With my dietary and herbal self-treatment, I was able to turn things around in about three weeks, but it sure was not fun.

    I totally agree that the way to support all of our children with the best health we can give them is to do everything you can to boost their and your own immune systems with the best nutrition and herbal supplementation when needed. When I have grandchildren, seeing the compromised immune system my daughter experienced upon vaccination, I will look for everything else I can offer my daughter to support them without conventional treatment.

    But the choice is not easy. I have seen too many people left with the rampages of polio, not to realize the positive side of vaccination as well. Perhaps with enough pressure and advocacy from parents committed to holistic health, the development of vaccinations can become more full proof.

    In the meantime, I can highly recommend having homeopathic pertussis in your medicine cabinet as a first choice remedy with any sign of pertussis. You may also find your homeopath would advice you to take it or other remedies prophylacticly. I have seen remarkable results from homeopathics, including seeing my infant daughter's respirations, once she started getting sick, reduced from 70 breaths a minute down to 30 in less than 15 minutes and then to normal within 30. You can't beat that for a non-toxic treatment, offered by a knowledgeable homeopath.

  • Amanda

    All 4 of my children had pertussis 2 years ago - ages 6months, 2,4,7. We went to our natural doctor and he missed the diagnosis - even though we suggested it. - We finally had one of our children nasal swabbed and it was properly diagnosed. Let me tell you - it was one of the hardest times of our life! Even though going through this - I still would NOT vaccinate my children. Thankfully we ate a nutrient dense diet and we all pulled through - I was scared into giving my children antibiotics - but I wouldn't do that again. I feel that it just hindered their bodies from what it was already doing - healing! We chose not to vaccinate our children knowing that we have done everything possible to build their bodies immune system - the way
    God intended. We were tested on that decision - with prayer and the power of the body - they all recovered in about 7 weeks. I can not agree more - that diet and immunity is the key to getting through this trauma.

  • Larry Cook

    Why don't you just admit that you are an anti vaccine nut? Kids are getting whooping cough because of the anti vaccine hysteria surrounding Autism. Study after study proves that vaccines do not and cannot cause Autism and yet people like you present "fermented vegetables", "Chinese medicine" and "acupuncture" as reasonable alternatives. Just plain dangerous and stupid.

  • Mia

    Thank you Donna for this wonderful article, I have had much concern regarding the outbreaks of whooping cough and also have great concern over vaccinations. I gave my daughter her first round of vaccinations, limiting a few, but read more and more about the dangers of vaccinations and have chosen to not vaccinate her since that first round. I constantly go back and forth of what is the right thing to do, wanting the very best health for my daughter. I am so happy to read your article and appreciate the great information to increase her immunity and positive alternatives to help with whooping cough. I would appreciate any information for the future in regard to vaccinations and raising healthy children. Much gratitude Donna

Community Poll

What Health Topics Are You Most Interested In?

Free Shipping!

Free Shipping on any order over $50

Join Our Community


Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.

Please wait...

Continue shopping
View cart & checkout
Continue shopping
View cart & checkout